Monday, June 27, 2016

Homemade Hummus

      I love hummus! I love all kinds of hummus especially to dip my vegetables in or on a sandwich instead of mayo. It is so tasty! I typically buy it from the store because for some reason I thought it would be hard to make, or it was a tedious process, or it could be sometimes I feel lazy, but whatever the reason I will probably never do it again. I was wrong guys. Homemade is so much better than from the store. It is so easy and so delicious and there is a world of possibilities of flavor combinations. I know I sound like I am gushing but guys I am so happy! The best part is, you know exactly what is in your hummus because you made it.

     Be prepared to see hummus recipes a lot this summer since I have learned how easy and fast to make at home. Lately, all I have been craving are fruit and vegetables. I think it is because of how hot it has been but that's okay. They are so good for you and really delicious.

    This recipe is just a basic garlic hummus recipe. I did not want to get too fancy my first time just in case it was a disaster. I don't know why I worried so much about making my own. This took all of 5 minutes to make and I have already made another batch because I devoured this one. Next time you are in the mood for hummus I urge you to make your own.

Homemade Hummus
Melissa DeWees
  1. 1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  2. 3 T olive oil
  3. 1 lemon juiced
  4. 1 tsp. cumin
  5. 2 T tahini
  6. 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  7. 2 cloves of garlic
  8. fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  9. 1/8 - 1/4 c of water
  • Add all ingredients except for water. Blend until smooth. Slowly added the water until you reach your desired consistency. 
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Enjoy!!!! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Asian Style Meatballs

     Wow! Was this past weekend hot here in Arizona. In spite of the heat we have been experiencing I still find myself in the kitchen cooking meals almost daily. I guess even the heat can't stop the creative juices from flowing which is a good thing. Last month I shared my version of an Italian meatball and if I do say so myself, they were tasty. This past week I was perusing the contents of my freezer and saw some Italian sausage and thought why not make meatballs again but instead of Italian style why not try something new.

    I started thinking about what I was in the mood for and it came to me, Asian style. I wanted my meatballs to be very flavorful and tender, I mean who doesn't. I then looked at my pantry to see what spices and sauces I had on hand. I have been trying to use what I have instead of always going to the store and picking up more things. I noticed some weeks I don't even use things before they spoil and that is a waste especially when I have been trying to save money. A couple of months ago I took a trip to the local Asian market and picked up a bunch of sauces and spices and never used them. This was the perfect time and the perfect dish for them. These meatballs were delicious and definitely left you wanting more. My husband and I ate as many as we could and the rest I saved for lunch the next day.

   I let a couple of my co-workers try them and they loved them. In fact, a couple of them insisted on the recipe because they wanted to make them for dinner. This proved to me the meatball recipe was a winner. I hope you feel the same way when you try them for yourselves.  You will not regret it. I bet you will over the leftovers. They are that good!

Asian Style Meatballs
Melissa DeWees
Ingredients for meatballs
  1. 1 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage
  2. 1 T fresh grated ginger
  3. 1 tsp. black pepper
  4. 2 T fish sauce
  5. 2 tsp. garlic chili sauce
  6. 3 cloves garlic minced
  7. 2 shallots diced
  8. 1/4 c fresh cilantro chopped
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 c bread crumbs
  11. 1 tsp. black sesame oil
Ingredients for the sauce
  1. 1 c Hoisin Sauce
  2. 1/2 c rice wine vinegar
  3. 3 tsp. garlic chili sauce
  4. 2 cloves garlic minced
  5. 3 tsp. fish sauce
  6. 1 tsp. grated ginger
  7. 1 tsp. black sesame oil
Directions for meatballs
  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl together and mix well.
  • Roll meat into 1 inch balls and line on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until no longer pink and set aside.
  • While meatballs are in the oven make the sauce.
  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer.
  • When the meatballs are done add to sauce and toss them to coat completely.
  • Serve with either rice or your favorite sides.
  • Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tasty Shrimp Salad

      I do not know about you guys but I am already tired of the heat. Here in Arizona we have been experiencing a terrible heat wave and there does not seem to be an end in sight. When the weather is extreme like this my appetite tends to decrease and things that were comforting in the winter months are not as appealing to me in the summer. Lately I have been craving fresh fruits, vegetables and salads especially for lunch.

     The other day I was thinking about a salad I have not eaten in a long time but is very common back in Savannah. It is not very popular here, in fact, I do not know of a place where you can get it which I think is a shame. It evokes memories of my childhood when you could go down to the docks and buy fresh seafood off the boats. Those were the days.! I don't know if you are aware but seafood tends to by on the pricey side here in this state. Something about us being surrounded by desert. Haha!

     If you are wondering what kind of salad I am talking about, I will not keep you in suspense, it is Shrimp Salad. This salad is very similar to chicken or tuna salad but instead of making it with those items you use shrimp. I used to love going to this little café with my friends and ordering it as a sandwich. It is perfect on a sub roll or a little toasted bun. If you have never had it before I hope you give it a try. It is so delicious and not heavy at all. I lightened my version by using mainly Greek yogurt in my recipe. I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise which is used in the traditional recipe. I love to eat this on crackers or as a sandwich but it is delicious on a bed of lettuce as well.

Tasty Shrimp Salad
Melissa DeWees
  1. 1 lb. of boiled shrimp
  2. 1/2 onions diced
  3. 2 celery stalks diced
  4. 3 eggs boiled and chopped
  5. 1 cucumber diced and seeded
  6.  1/2 c Greek yogurt
  7. 1/4 c chopped parsley
  8. 2 T mayo
  9. 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  10. 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  11. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  12. 1 tsp. salt
  13. 1 T Dijon mustard
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld together.
  • Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve over a bed of lettuce or on your favorite toasted roll.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Easy Tomato Soup

       Sometimes it amazes me that I like some tomato based foods but I can't stand fresh tomatoes. I just don't know what it is but fresh tomatoes really gross me out. Not only are the insides slimy but the smell is off putting to me. I have tried to eat them but once they hit my tongue I immediately start to gag and have to spit it out. Maybe its the texture, maybe its all in my head, who can say? I am glad I don't hate all tomato foods. I think I have mentioned before I do like cooked tomatoes or tomatoes that are transformed to not taste like tomatoes in pasta sauce or pizza sauce or even my salsa recipe.

     I always assumed I would not like tomato soup and refused try if for years. I finally caved in one day when many of my friends kept insisting tomato soup with grilled cheese was an amazing combination. Boy was I glad I finally gave it a try! It did not taste like fresh tomatoes and the texture was silky and smooth. In a word it was delicious.

     It makes me think what other things I think do not like  but actually do in reality. Hmmm. Maybe I really do like menudo when I always thought it was disgusting and it smells terrible. Food for thought. Pun intended. Haha. In all seriousness the soup is easy but tasty and it really does taste good with a grilled cheese.

Easy Tomato Soup
Melissa DeWees
  1. 3 cans of diced tomatoes with juices
  2. 2 T olive oil
  3. 1 carrot sliced
  4. 1 celery sliced
  5. 1 onion diced
  6. 1 1/2 T basil dried
  7. 2 c chicken broth
  8. 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  9. 1/2 onion powder
  10. 1/4 c heavy cream
  11. 2 cloves of minced garlic
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add the olive oil to a heated soup pot and then add the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until softened.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the diced tomatoes with juices, add chicken broth, celery salt, onion powder, basil and salt and pepper.
  • Bring to boil and lower to a simmer and simmer for about 40 minutes until flavor meld together.
  • Puree until smooth and add the heavy cream and bring back to a boil.
  •  Enjoy with your favorite sandwich.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken

         I think I may have mentioned before chicken is not my favorite protein to eat. I think if I was not allowed any other kind of meat for the rest of my life I would just become a vegetarian. Well, maybe not but I definitely would not eat it often. This is because I usually find chicken, especially breasts to be dry and unappealing. With that being said I do like the drumsticks and thighs because to me they are usually more juicy and flavorful than the breasts. I think today I may have found a solution to this issue.

     In an effort to save a little bit of money, I decided this week I was going to cook only what I have in the house and not run to the store every other day. Looking through my freezer I noticed I had quite a few chicken breasts. I bought them when they were on sale and just prepackaged and froze them. I don't know if you have noticed but food is getting to be mighty expensive lately.  In fact, a few of my friends and I were just having a discussion about doing a $30 budget for a week challenge. We wanted to see if it was possible to live off $30 but still eat good food. I think we are going to do it in a few weeks after we work out the details. I know a couple of our rules are going to be we cannot live off of ramen noodles packages and we can't eat at work. We can only eat what we purchased for the week. It should be interesting. I definitely will let you know when we do it and will tell you about our experiences.

      Back to this chicken. I was so pleased with how it turned out. It was juicy and flavorful and may change how I think about chicken. I marinated the chicken in a yogurt based marinade for a couple of hours. In case you did not know, yogurt breaks down the protein in chicken causing it to become juicy and tender. You do not want to marinate it too long because it may denature the proteins in chicken too much and you might end up with mushy chicken. I let mine marinate for 2 hours and it was perfect. The marinade itself only took a few minutes to put together so if you are short on time this would still be a good option. I believe even if you only had 30 minutes to let it marinate it would still be tender. Next time you are in the mood for chicken, give this a try.

Greek yogurt marinated chicken
Melissa DeWees
  1. 1 lb. of chicken breasts
  2. 1 c Greek yogurt
  3. 1/2 tsp. salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. pepper
  5. 1 clove of garlic minced
  6. 1 shallot diced
  7. 1/4 c fresh parsley chopped
  8. 1 T olive oil
  9. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  10. 1 tsp. herbes de provence
  11. 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  12. 1/2 lemon juiced
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients except for the chicken in a bowl.
  2. Salt and pepper the breasts and add to the marinade.
  3. Let it marinate for as little as 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. If you marinate longer than 30 minutes put it in the refrigerator.
  4. Heat grill while letting the chicken return to room temperature.
  5. Grill until meat is cooked through.
  6. Enjoy with your favorite sides.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Spinach, Egg and Mushroom Breakfast Bagel

      I am not a huge breakfast person but occasionally the mood strikes and I crave it. I usually eat just lunch and dinner with a snack thrown in here and there or maybe some candy. I know candy is not good for you but it is very tasty. I think I have mentioned before I  love my candy but every once and while I want some eggs. Today was one of those days. After giving it some serious thought and also checking out what I had available I decided on eggs, spinach, mushrooms, and egg bagel. I must say it was a good choice. So good I probably will be making it again in the near future. I might even make extra and freeze them for days when I am feeling lazy or have only a little bit of time.

    This sandwich was easy to make and not time consuming at all. I think most of the time was spent on prep work and even that only took a few minutes. I had enough to make two bagels but since it was only just me I shared with my babies. They gave it two paws up. Hehee.

     Since the extreme heat has finally made its self known be prepared to see a loy more sandwiches and salads. It is too hot for soup on a regular basis and also time consuming meals. That's not to say I will stop making them occasionally but the heat seems to sap my energy. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this sandwich as much as I did and try it for yourself or a variation of it.

    Spinach, Egg and Mushroom Breakfast Bagel
Melissa DeWees
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 2 T of butter
  3. 4 mushrooms sliced
  4. 1/4 onion sliced
  5. 2 T heavy cream
  6. handful of spinach
  7. 2 oz. of cotija cheese or your favorite cheese
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 or 2 bagels (depending on how big you want your sandwich)
  •  Beat the eggs together in a bowl thoroughly
  • Add the heavy cream and beat in well
  • Heat a pan over medium heat.
  • Melt the butter in the pan and then add the onions  sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook the onions until softened
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft.
  • Add the egg mixture and cook for a minute and then mix together with the vegetables.
  • When the eggs are half way done add the spinach and wilt into the eggs.
  • Add the cheese and fold the mixture together. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • In the mean time toast the bagel
  • Spread the bagel with additional butter if desired then top with the egg mixture.
  • Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stuffed Jalapeno Burgers

      It's that time of year folks! Pull off those covers and clean off those grates! It's grilling season. When you think Summer, you think back yard barbecues and pool season. Well, at least I do but I do not have a pool so I will have to settle for the barbecues. I know, poor me but I will some how find the strength to survive. Just know the next house the hubby and I move to will hopefully have a pool. I can picture it now, all of our friends and family gathered around eating, drinking, and being merry. At least that is my hope and it does not turn into some kind of reject Jerry Springer episode. Any hoo, I digress as usual.

    Let's get back to these burgers. I wanted to try something different than just hamburger with a little salt and pepper sprinkled on the meat. I thought long and hard about what I could do to spice up them up and then it came to me..... I experienced and epiphany. Why not make them spicy or almost an Mexican theme? Since, we did not have our usual taco Tuesday this week I figured why not make a burger with some of the same seasonings as the tacos. After tasting these delicious burgers, I am so happy I decided to experiment. They were good!!!

    The cheese stuffed in the middle took the burgers to the next level. I have not stuffed my burgers with cheese in a long time and had forgotten how tasty they could be when prepared this way. I can't take all of the credit for the idea of cheese in the middle, I was inspired by the new show on the Food Network with the children. Not Chopped Junior but the barbecue show. It amazes me every time I watch one of the cooking shows with the kids because they astound me in the kitchen. When I was their age I could barely boil water and my cooking skills extended to ramen noodles. These kids are making gourmet meals that still put me to shame.

     I made the burgers with 80/20 ground beef. I do not like to go too lean with the meat because I believe you need the fat to keep them from being to dry and tasteless. Who wants a dry burger? I chopped up a fresh jalapeno and removed some of the seeds but kept the ribs because I wanted a little heat in them. I stuffed my burger with Colby jack cheese but my husband's with pepper jack. These burgers were approved by me and the hubby and I will definitely  be making them again. In fact, expect to see different flavor combinations in burgers throughout the summer. Next time you are in the mood for a tasty burger, give these a try.

Stuffed Jalapeno Burgers
Melissa DeWees
  1. 1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
  2. 2 cloves of garlic diced
  3. 1 jalapeno diced
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  6. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  7. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. Mexican chile powder
  9. a few pieces of your favorite cheese diced
  • Preheat your grill and make sure your grates are clean.
  • Add all of the ingredients except for the cheese in a bowl and mix together.
  • Be careful to not over mix because it will make your burger tough.
  • Form into patties. I made three good sized patties.
  • Place the diced cheese in the center of the patties and then carefully fold over and press back into patty form.

  • Make sure the cheese is covered so it does not ooze out while cooking.
  • Grill burgers to desired temperature and top with favorite toppings if desired.
  • Enjoy.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Bruschetta

       It is almost summer and my love affair with fruit has been growing by leaps and bounds. It's so hot here in Arizona I have been really craving things more on the light side and less on the heavy. Summer has made it's presence known with a vengeance. Every time I go outside during the day I feel like I am going to spontaneously combust and end up being a pile of ashes on the ground. The heat also has been wreaking havoc on my appetite and what once sounded comforting and delicious sounds positively heavy right now.

     I have always loved bruschetta but have never made it at home. For some reason I pictured it being a little difficult and time consuming even though most of the ingredients you use are so simple in nature. You can make it with a wide variety of things and I bet each one is delicious except for tomatoes in my eyes. I loathe fresh tomatoes. I finally decided to bite the bullet and make my own and I am so pleased with how it turned out.

     I wanted to make a bruschetta containing fruit and cheese as well as some sort of protein. After giving it some serious thought I decided I wanted to use cantaloupe as well as one of my favorite things, prosciutto. I figured this would be perfect for either a light lunch or a nice appetizer. It was so easy to make and not time consuming at all. I definitely will be experimenting with different flavor combinations in the future. I believe all of the ingredients worked together perfectly.

Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Bruschetta
Melissa DeWees
  1. One baguette sliced into 1 inch thick pieces on the bias
  2. Thinly sliced cantaloupe
  3. Thinly sliced prosciutto
  4. Pomegranate balsamic reduced into a syrup
  5. Slices of fresh mozzarella
  6. Olive oil for drizzling
  7. Fresh mint
  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Drizzle olive oil on baguette slices
  • Bake for 4 minutes on each side to achieve a crispy texture
  • Layer mozzarella, prosciutto, cantaloupe, mint and then drizzle with balsamic syrup
  • Enjoy
     This was perfectly balanced with salty and sweet but somehow the mint made it a refreshing and light. If you were like me and thought bruschetta was difficult to make, let me put you at ease. It was very easy to make and so worth it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Peach Pie Bars

         Summer is almost upon us and you know what that means? If you think I am talking about the extreme heat we are going to feel you would be wrong. Instead I am talking about all of the lovely fruit that is available at the market. To me there is nothing better than  fresh fruit when it is hot outside. I love all kinds of fruit and I especially love peaches. Not only do they remind me of home, you know Georgia is the peach state, but also of my family. I grew up eating lots of fruit. Not only is it sweet and delicious but it is good for you. It is true what they say, fruit is nature's candy and I love candy.

   Every year one of the local farms hosts a festival for a couple of weekends in May where you can pick your own peaches off their trees. I try and go if possible because nothing beats really fresh fruit. At Schnepf Farms not only can you take the whole family out for a good time but you can pick your own produce. I think it is wonderful when you know exactly where your food comes from. Any way back to the peaches.

    I was late in going this year but I was still able to find some good peaches. I thought about what I wanted to do with them once I brought them home and then it came to me. Peach pie bars. I am not really good at making pies, maybe because I hardly ever make them but I figured baking them into bar form would work just as well. They would be easy to eat with your hands, they would be easy to transport, and if you wanted to put ice cream on top of bars for dessert you could. Vanilla ice cream on top of a warm peach bar is heavenly.

    I think I made a good choice. I will eventually make more pies because I do need to practice my skill but I just was not feeling it this time. Something always goes wrong with my pies when I make them. These bars were easy to make and did not take a lot of time but they were very tasty. In fact, I have already made them three times. I think they only took me about an hour to make from start to finish. If I had made a traditional pie it would have taken longer. I love how they turned out and will be making them with different fruit in the future. They are perfect to take your next family picnic or even pack in your lunch. I hope you give these a try next time you are craving pie but do not actually want to make a pie.

Peach Pie Bars
Melissa DeWees
For the filling
  1. 2 1/2 c of fresh sliced peaches
  2. 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla
  4. 1/2 c brown sugar
  5. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  7. 1 T butter
  8. 3/4 tsp. corn starch
For the crust
  1. 2 c flour
  2. 1 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1/2 c sugar
  4. 1/4 c brown sugar
  5. 1/4 tsp. salt
  6. 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  7. 1 stick of room temperature butter
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla
  9. 1 egg, room temperature
  10. 2 T heavy cream

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper for easy lifting and spray with Pam or other cooking spray
Directions for the filling
  • Melt the butter in a pan on the stove over medium heat
  • Mix the lemon juice and the vanilla in with the peaches
  • Add the peaches to the pan with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and stir all together.
  • Cook for until the peaches start to break down about 8 minutes and then add the corn starch. Stir all together and continue to cook for about another minute or so until the filling begins to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
Directions for the crust
  • While the filling is cooking start the crust.
  • In a bowl of electric mixer add the butter and the sugars together and beat until light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  • Add the egg to the butter mixture and mix until combined, then add the heavy cream and mix
  • Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • The dough will be a little sticky but that is okay.
  • Divide the dough in half and press one half into the bottom of prepared pan.
  • Prick the dough all of over the pan so it does not puff up a lot.
  • Bake for 12 minutes and the remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Dough after mixed
Dough before baking
Crust after baked for 12 minutes
Directions for the bar assembly
  • Add the filling to the top of the crust and spread evenly over the pan
  • Crumble remaining dough over the top of the filling as evenly as possible.
  • You will see the filling through the dough but that is okay because it will spread over the top when baking.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Cool before cutting into bars for at least 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy either plain or with ice cream.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Quick and Easy Salsa

      It has been a very hectic week and this has left me with little time in the kitchen. Long hours with very little sleep means cranky Melissa. Just picture Jack in the Shining and that is what I look like after a long stressful week. Can you imagine it? I am just kidding but it is a close analogy. Playing around in the kitchen is my stress relief and if I had the opportunity to do that full time I totally would. Maybe some day..... A girl can dream. Until then I will have steal moments here and there in my sanctuary.

      I have been loving this season's Chopped Junior. Those little kids are so talented and I am just amazed at what they can concoct in the kitchen in such a little amount of time. I wish I would have had their talent when I was their age. Let's be honest. They could probably put me to shame in the kitchen. They are amazing! They inspire me to improve  my techniques in the kitchen and raise my cooking skills to the next level. I have vowed to get better at creating recipes and one way I plan on doing this is to start making a lot of my own sauces and marinades. I am going to include salsa in this statement because that is what I am sharing with you today. Haha!

      A little tidbit about me. I hate tomatoes but I love salsa, ketchup, pasta sauce, and other various tomato based foods. I know I am weird. I really tried to like fresh tomatoes but I just can't. They make me gag and I immediately spit one out if it is in my food. That was probably TMI  but I think its the texture and the smell. I did not make this salsa with fresh tomatoes but used canned instead. I can eat the canned ones as long as they have a lot of seasoning and flavor. I really love how this turned out and I definitely will be making my own from now on. My husband liked it too but he just asked next time it could be a little bit more spicy. Maybe I will just make him his own batch because he likes heat a lot more than me. This recipe is quick and easy to put together and the flavors intensify the longer it sits. I recommend you make it at least a couple of hours before you eat it so it can be nice and chilled and the flavors have plenty of time to meld together.

Quick and Easy Salsa
Melissa DeWees
  1. 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  2. 1 fresh jalapeno diced
  3. 1/2 onion diced
  4. 1 lime juiced
  5. 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  6. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  7. 1 tsp. salt
  8. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  9. 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  10. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Chill for at least a couple of hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to merry together. Feel free to adjust the heat level or use different peppers if desired.
  • Enjoy!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Slow Cooker Black Beans

       Have you ever tried to make dried beans on the stove top only to find after hours of cooking they are still hard? If you are like me, you have. One day I was talking to one of my coworkers and she said at her house they always made a big batch of beans in their slow cooker and if they had any leftovers they would freeze them for next time. This made me wonder how good the beans would be prepared in the slow cooker and how convenient this would be for days when we are busy with our activities. Some days you just do not have time to watch beans cooking on the stove. Am I right?

     I love my slow cooker. Who does not like just placing all of the ingredients into the cooker and setting the timer and going about your day without worrying about dinner or in this case beans?  Sometimes I forget how convenient the slow cooker can be when you have a busy schedule. These beans were so easy to make and they were delicious. I definitely will be giving this another try but with other beans in the future. Since we are a family of two I did not prepare a whole pound of beans but only prepared 2 cups of dried beans. This was plenty for us and we still had leftovers which I froze for next time.  The liquid the beans were cooked in tasted awesome on top of the rice we also prepared. I think these beans tasted a lot better than the canned beans you can buy at the store.

    Next time you are thinking about cooking beans, I hope you give the slow cooker method a try. Sometimes I forget things cooked very simply can also be very delicious.

Slow Cooker Black Beans
Melissa DeWees
  1. 2 c of dried black beans soaked over night
  2. 2 garlic cloves minced
  3. 1 onion diced
  4. 1 jalapeno diced with half of the seeds and ribs
  5. 1 tsp. of cumin
  6. 1 tsp. Mexican chile powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  8. 4 c of chicken broth
  9. 2 bay leaves
  10. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  11. 1 1/4 tsp. of salt or more if you like.
  • Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray for easy clean up.
  • Add all ingredients to the pot except the salt and set the timer for 8 hours.
  • 1 hour before it is done add the salt.
  • Taste the beans and if they are soft and the skin pulls away they are done.
  • Adjust seasonings if necessary.